Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common types of hair loss, and it affects both men and women. When referring to men, this condition is typically referred to as male-pattern baldness. The area directly above each temple represents the beginning of a distinct pattern of hair loss. The hairline goes through a process of gradual thinning until it finally assumes the recognisable “M” form. The hair at the crown of the head, which is located around the top of the head, thinning out frequently results in either complete or partial baldness.
Women experience a distinct kind of hair loss than males do, which follows a different pattern than male-pattern baldness. Although the hairline does not recede, women’s hair becomes thinner everywhere else on their heads as they age. It is uncommon for women who have androgenetic alopecia to lose all of their hair completely. Androgenetic alopecia in men has been connected to a variety of different diseases, including coronary heart disease and enlargement of the prostate, amongst others.
Androgenetic alopecia has also been linked to prostate cancer, diseases associated with insulin resistance (such as diabetes and obesity), as well as high blood pressure (hypertension). This type of hair loss in women is linked to a higher incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal imbalance that can result in irregular menstruation, acne, extra body hair (hirsutism), and weight gain. In men, this type of hair loss is linked to a higher incidence of androgenic alopecia, which is a condition in which the hair on the head thins out.
Causes of Androgenetic alopecia
The typical rate of hair loss per day is anywhere between 50 and 100 strands. People are often not aware of this fact because new hair is growing at the same time, which conceals it from their view. Loss of hair is a condition that occurs when new hair does not come in to replace the hair that has been lost and cannot be found to be the cause of the ailment. Androgenetic alopecia is almost always attributable to one or more of the following reasons, and this is true in the vast majority of cases:
Family background (heredity)
The most common cause of hair loss is a genetic condition that presents itself as a natural result of becoming older. This condition is called androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is the medical word for this illness, however it is more commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. In the majority of cases, it takes place gradually and in predictable patterns, such as a receding hairline and bald spots in men, and thinning hair along the crown of the head in women.
Hormonal fluctuations and medical ailments.
Hair loss can be temporary or permanent and is caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes during pregnancy, delivery, menopause, and thyroid diseases, as well as other ailments. There are many medical diseases that can cause hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia (an immune system problem that causes patches of hair loss), scalp infections like ringworm, and trichotillomania (a disorder in which people compulsively pluck off their own hair).
Medications and supplements
Certain medications, including those prescribed for the treatment of cancer, depression, arthritis, gout, heart disease, and high blood pressure, might cause hair loss as a potential side effect.
A very stressful event
Androgenetic alopecia is something that happens to a lot of people a few months after they’ve been through a traumatic incident, whether it be physical or emotional. The loss of hair due to this condition is just transitory.
Symptoms of Androgenetic Alopecia
Depending on what is causing it, there are many distinct ways that hair loss can manifest. It can affect only your scalp or the entire body, and it can start off suddenly or gradually.
Gradual thinning on the top of the head
As people get older, they are more likely to have this sort of hair loss. At the hairline on the forehead, hair frequently starts to recede in men. Typically, women’s hair parts are wider than men’s. A receding hairline is a hair loss pattern that older women are experiencing more frequently (frontal fibrosing alopecia).
A sudden thinning of the hair
Hair may become loose as a result of a physical or mental trauma. When brushing, washing, or even with a little tugging, you might lose a few handfuls of hair. Although transient, this form of hair loss typically results in general hair thinning.
Patchy or circular bald areas
On the scalp, beard, or brows, some persons experience bald spots that are round or spotty. Before the hair falls out, your skin may become unpleasant or itching.
How can Androgenetic Alopecia be diagnosed?
A diagnosis of thinning hair (Androgenetic Alopecia) might be provided by a medical practitioner or a dermatologist. In most cases, testing is unnecessary; however, they will inspect your scalp to determine the pattern of hair loss. A dermatologist may also run a blood test to evaluate your levels of thyroid hormone, androgens, iron, or any other substances that can affect hair development if they feel that you are suffering from a type of hair loss that is not female pattern baldness.
Techniques to address Androgenetic Alopecia Hair Loss
If there is no other underlying medical issue, no medical care is required. However, there are treatments available for men and women who don’t like how they look or would prefer to have a fuller head of hair.
A topical drug used on the scalp is called minoxidil (Rogaine). Some men’s hair loss is slowed with minoxidil, which also encourages the growth of new hair follicles. It can take up to a year for minoxidil to start showing benefits. When you stop taking the medicine, hair loss frequently resumes. Dryness, irritability, burning, and scaling of the scalp are a few possible minoxidil side effects.
Finasterid (Propecia, Proscar)
Some men who take the oral medicine finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) see a slower rate of hair loss. It does so by preventing the synthesis of the hormone produced by men that causes hair loss. When compared to minoxidil, finasteride is more successful. When you stop using finasteride, you start losing hair again. Before you notice results with finasteride, you must take it for three months to a year. Your doctor will likely advise stopping the drug if hair growth doesn’t start after a year. Finasteride can result in breast cancer, however it’s uncommon. Any breast discomfort or lumps should be checked out by a doctor right once.
Men with minor hair loss may be able to conceal it with a correct haircut or hairdo. To make androgenetic alopecia appear fuller, ask your hairstylist for a unique cut.
Hairpieces or wigs
Wigs can conceal baldness, receding hairlines, and thinning hair. They come in numerous designs, hues, and textures. Selecting wigs with colours, textures, and styles that resemble your actual hair will give you a more natural appearance. Wigs can be styled and fitted by qualified wig stylists for an even more lifelike appearance.
Wigs are sewed into your own hair to create hair weaves. It must be possible to sew the weave into enough hair. The benefit of weaves is that they always remain in place, whether while swimming, taking a shower, and sleeping. The drawbacks include the need to stitch them anew whenever fresh hair grows in and the possibility of harm to your natural hair during the sewing process.
The most intrusive and costly treatment for hair loss is a hair transplant. In order for hair transplants to be effective, hair must be removed from parts of the scalp where vigorous hair growth is occurring and transplanted to balding or thinning areas of the scalp. The surgery carries the risk of infection and scarring, and many treatments are frequently required. The more natural appearance and permanence of a hair transplant are its benefits.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your primary care physician if you or any of your relation are experiencing androgenetic alopecia and are interested in pursuing therapy for the condition. Discuss early treatment options with your physician if you are a woman who is suffering a receding hairline (facial fibrosing alopecia) so that you can prevent major irreversible baldness.